to Thomas Gray Primary School
Thomas Gray Curriculum
The children of Thomas Gray get one opportunity to have a great time in school and learn and we as a staff, Team TG, recognise that we owe it to them make sure they all get an education that is broad, rich and deep. The focus of the Thomas Gray team, is not about preparing children for exams, and more about the “body of knowledge” our children will gain during their time at school.
The Thomas Gray curriculum is based on high quality texts using them as the corner stone for each term. High quality texts are used as the hook for developing a love of reading, which is fundamental as the majority of our children will not even be read a bedtime story.
Team TG clear intent is to ‘Bring out the best in Bootle’, bring out the best in our children and give them a chance to make a better future for themselves and escape the deprivation trap.
Instead of a focus on short-term lesson planning, we have looked at the long term, how we intend the powerful learning environments of our children to unfold. We at Thomas Gray are refining our curriculum in a joined-up way ensuring that teachers know what their colleagues are teaching, when and why.
We are unwavering in prioritising basic skills which will enable every child to succeed in future life – English, Mathematics, Computing, along with strong focus on personal development to enable our pupils to be resilient and confident and treat themselves and others with respect.
A curriculum is a narrative; children begin the story knowing relatively little and end up knowing a lot more. That some things are more important is tackled unapologetically.
Alongside our basic skills, our curriculum aims to give each child a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the world. Our commitment to first hand experiences through our extensive trips and visitors to the school is designed to develop a thirst for learning in every child and give them experiences to help them understand and retain key knowledge.
At Thomas Gray, we have initiated a change to the way that we deliver the foundation subjects to complement the first hand experiences. The change has been prompted following extensive pupil voice consultation which told us through the voice of the child that – ‘It’s too hard to learn too many new things at once and have to record them in writing in our books, all at the same time’ ‘It takes the fun out of learning’. So in adult speak the children were telling us that they were getting cognitive overload and were struggling to learn.
We have therefore moved to a practical, strongly, Oracy based approach, which enables our children to have the brain space to absorb the new knowledge and use their skills as a Scientist, Historian or Geographer. We have moved to practical tasks to also enable children to explore new vocabulary, as pupil voice and assessments showed that our children’s vocabulary was limited.
We are aiming through development of Oracy, focusing this year on ‘partner talk’ and ‘say it better, ask it better’ that each child is fully equipped to take part in the great conversations . We passionately believe that our children need to learn to question and be encouraged to make a meaningful contribution throughout their lives for the good of us all. Team TG’s shift in delivery will continue to develop through the Voice 21 project commencing January 2022. Our aim is that foundation lessons are all about exciting learning, building on prior knowledge and learning new facts.
The foundation sessions are delivered in line with our core subjects with consistency in all lessons, as we have found that a set lesson structure benefits our children, where they have no surprises of what is coming next.
A foundation subject lesson will be in three clear sections:-
- Reminder on overarching foci, skills and knowledge. Revisit of when the foci has previously been learnt and making connections.
- Learning new knowledge and skills related to the theme.
- Checking the key knowledge and skills learnt so staff can identify pupils for post teach.
Having limited foci for each lesson – subject related skill, concept and or knowledge has impacted on the children’s motivation to learn and ability to retain knowledge and understanding.
In our drive to provide the best learning experience, we at Thomas Gray are constantly evaluating our curriculum. In 2021/2022, we are focusing on progression maps to encompass the new EYFS curriculum and development of learning in History and DT. As a school we recognise that the continued development of high quality learning includes the developing curriculum expertise to ensure staff competence, confidence and enthusiasm of staff and therefore as a school we prioritise and identify appropriate professional development.
Choosing The Right School For Your Child Is A Very Important Decision.
You will want to be sure that they are given every opportunity to develop their talents to the full. Equally, you will be keen to know that they are growing up in a happy and fulfilling environment where they are appreciated and encouraged as individuals.
Thomas Gray Primary School is recognised throughout Bootle and Sefton as being a very good school. We have a high regard for the families of our pupils and value the importance of a partnership with parents. We believe strongly that we should work together with parents in order to support children’s education.